CAN DONALD TRUMP NEGATIVELY AFFECT THE VALUE OF YOUR CONDO?
The curious thing about the wealthy or the celebrity is that they can fall out of favor from the public eye and never regain the glory they once had. Tiger Woods, Lindsay Lohan, and Ryan Lochte, for example, have all been scrutinized in the press and have lost endorsements or movie roles because of their past behavior. Similarly, President Donald Trump has seen a backlash ever since he was nominated, and that’s going to the heart of his real estate buildings in Manhattan. The problem for many is that the Trump name no longer has cache, and this is supposedly reflected with his low numbers for his approval rating.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
As such, residents of President Trump’s 200 East 69th Street are working to remove Trump’s name that’s emblazoned on the building. This is due to the fact that tenants have continually seen that apartment condos are being sold below market or even no market at all.
IS PRESIDENT TRUMP’S NAME A LIABILITY?
With his signature gold signage, 200 East 69th is an over-the-top ritzy tower for the super wealthy in the super wealthy Upper East Side. The 26-year-old building contains 277 units, 18 of which are currently on the market. What’s worse than a condo not meeting its capacity? That seven of the units have seen at least one price reduction. The plummeting prices and open units for sale, according to residents, is the direct result of Trump’s emblazoned name on the building. Tenants would prefer a building that has a neutral identity that will appeal to anyone and not just fans of Trump. That’s key.
AN ANGRY CONDO OWNER HEADS THE OUSTING
According to The Hollywood Reporter, condo owner Laurence Weiss, a former Goldman Sachs partner, says that the owners here are worth more than the Trump name. The disgruntled Weiss, would know. Upon putting his condo on the market, it was listed as a 3,600-square-foot penthouse for around $15 million. This was in 2015, and today, the condo has steeply been reduced to $8.9 million as of today. Similarly, last year Keith Olbermann sold his own unit in Trump Palace at a 10 percent loss (although he didn’t make a stink about it).
OUR HOMES ARE WORTH MORE WITHOUT THE TRUMP NAME
This is what Weiss said in a circulated a petition campaign to get rid of President Trump name, and so far 32 residents agree that the name needs to go and 24 people agree that Trump’s name remains. Weiss added: “We, the owners, can change the name if 2/3 of us agree.” This change could work because the presidents surname was removed from units 140, 160 and 180 Riverside Drive, all of which used to be called Trump Place until 2016.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO CHANGE THE INHERENT VALUE OF A NAME?
We’re not entirely sure if the Trump name is directly responsible for the lack of sales. But StreetEasy claims that the year 2014 and the period between November 15 through October 2016, sales in Trump-owned buildings dipped a significant 26 percent.
Now that this campaign is being fostered, the President’s name is now a liability. His name no longer has the value, as we suggested above, to move units and a slow real estate season is due to a negative view of President Trump as a brand. If this is the case, where do we stop? Is Trump International Hotel and Tower next? Will the swank Trump SoHo get on the bandwagon and decide that a trendy downtown bespoke hotel brings down the building because of a signage? Whatever happens, Trump as a name is still a powerful way in which to brand an identity, albeit with some severe alterations until those who are buying a Trump property know they are getting a brand-new value. This is why there are second acts. This is where the summer sequel opens wide to vast acclaim because people like things they know, especially when sequels have the same characters. We know his name. Now we just have to say it, conjuring it up, the name, in a way that doesn’t tarnish the image behind the moniker.